About German Spirits

The spirits industry is a strong and varied one in Germany. Most famous are the brandies and eau-de-vie, made from fruits such as cherry, pear and apple. The term schnapps can refer to an eau-de-vie or it can simply mean a strong alcoholic drink.

There are also vodkas (flavored and unflavored), London-style gins and whiskeys produced in Germany. Most are consumed locally; few are exported outside Europe.
Top Picks for Germany
Brown color. Lively, minty, medicinal aromas of salty roasted walnuts, anise, and molasses spice cookie with a glycerous, bright, sour medium body and a warming, complex, long gingerbread, mincemeat, sarsaparilla, and peppery spices finish. A delicious, dangerous drinkable and balanced herbal liqueur.
96 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Icemint Schnapps
Clear color. Rich aromas and flavors of peppermint patty with a glycerous, vibrant, medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, long finish with notes of peppermint oil, mineral, and menthol mint. A bold, clean peppermint liqueur with excellent style and cooling, penetrating mintiness.
96 points $26.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
The Bitter Truth
Old Time Aromatic Bitters
Deep chestnut brown color. More dried spice in style with cinnamon, allspice, and anise cookie followed by gentian and hay notes with a bone dry palate and chalk and twiggy astringency on the finish. In the old fashioned cocktail, the effect is one of total integration and elevation of the sweet baking spice and fruity caramel notes of the bourbon. It really acts like a glue and an amplifier for the flavors of this cocktail and gives a nice lingering spiced nut top note to the finish. Fantastic.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Elephant Gin
London Dry Gin
Clear color. Lively, green, herbal complex aromas and flavors of lemon grass and coriander, menthol mint, dried citrus and berries, and cola with an oily, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, long resinous juniper, sweet and peppery spices, creamy berry bread pudding, and dried flower and chalk finish. A vivacious, multilayered gin with a great range and integration of flavors.
94 points $37.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Magic Crystal
Premium Vodka
Clear color. Faint, clean aromas of shredded wheat, date pastry, and table cracker with a satiny, soft, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long citrus meringue, minerals, and pink pepper finish. A pure, delicious, creamy textured vodka that is sure to please.
94 points $23.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
The Bitter Truth
Cucumber Bitters
Tasted as a Pisco Sour cocktail. Golden amber color. Peppery, earthy fruity curious aromas of marinated cucumbers, cracked pepper, and fleur de sel with a body and a cucumber slices and squash finish. The cucumber flavor of this bitter meshes nicely with the floral notes of the pisco in the pisco sour and add a nice layer of spice giving a creamy meringue like effect.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Clear color. Delicate, attractive aromas and flavors of spiced pears and baked apple with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and a warming, intricate, medium-long finish with accents of minerals and lemon pepper. A delicious and pure fruit eau-de-vie.
94 points $39.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Clear. Bright dried cherry, spicy cherry custard and blossoms aromas with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a white pepper, mineral oil, coconut water, and citrus zest accented finish. Excellent complexity and style for sipping and cocktail.
94 points $41.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Monkey 47
Schwarzwald Dry Gin
Clear color. Delicate, interesting aromas of ginger snaps, key lime pie, cedar spice rack, and yams with a soft, lively, dryish medium-to-full body and a peppery, long honeyed juniper, kumquat marmalade, pine, and mentho-mint finish. A superbly flavorful and versatile with great purity and length.
93 points $44.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
The Bitter Truth
Peach Bitters
On its own nice dried peach, ground nut, and savory soy aromas lead. On the palate, a bit of sarsaparilla and cola emerge. In the Martini cocktail, fresh peach notes appear nicely on the body and finish versus the nose and compliment and amplify the citrus notes of the martini quite deliciously. And if you ever wanted to try a shot of bitters, try this one.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab